Elecampane, or Yellow color - description and healing properties
In 1804, German scientist Valentin Rosa isolated a “peculiar substance” from the roots of Elecampane high. This substance is called inulin, in the Latin name of elecampane - Inula (Inula). In modern medicine, among lovers of good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle, inulin has the most extensive scope. However, it is worth noting that long before the discovery of inulin, elecampane was considered medicinal and used by doctors from the era of Hippocrates, Dioscorides, Pliny. Let's get to know this interesting plant closer.
Elecampane, or Yellow (Inula) - a genus of perennial plants of the Asteraceae family (Asteraceae), grows in Europe, Asia and Africa. For medicinal purposes, Elecampane (Inula helenium) is most often used - a typical species of the genus.
Description of Elecampane High
Elecampane tall - a perennial herbaceous plant up to 100-150 cm tall, of the aster family (Asteracea).
The rhizome of elecampane is thick, fleshy, with numerous branching roots extending. The stalk is longitudinally furrowed, short-haired. The leaves are large, elliptical and ovate-lanceolate, velvety-felt underneath, almost bare from above. The flowers are yellow, collected in large few baskets 7-8 cm in diameter, forming rare brushes or shields. The fruit is a brown prismatic achene 3-5 mm long. Elecampane blooms tall in July-September. The fruits ripen in August and October.
Elecampane grows high on the banks of rivers, lakes, in wet meadows, among shrubs, deciduous forests. Distributed in the European part of the former USSR, Western Siberia, the Caucasus and Central Asia.
In the food industry, elecampane is used in the manufacture of confectionery and drinks. In the liquor industry, elecampane rhizomes are used for flavoring and tinting wines. Elecampane essential oil, contained in the roots and rhizome, is used to flavor fish, culinary products and food concentrates, it also has bactericidal, especially fungicidal (antifungal) properties.
Garden forms of Elecampane high are used for planting and decorating wet places in parks, forest parks, along highways and railways.
Popular names of elecampane: oman, nine-force, wild sunflower, divosil.
The chemical composition of elecampane high
The rhizomes and roots of the plant contain inulin (up to 44%) and other polysaccharides, bitter substances, essential oil (up to 4.5%), saponins, resins, gum, mucus, a small amount of alkaloids, and gelenin. The composition of elecampane essential oil includes alantolactone (proazulene, gelenin), resins, mucus, dihydroalantolactone, Fridelin, stigmastern, phytomelan, pectin, wax, gum, vitamin E.
Essential oil (up to 3%), ascorbic acid, vitamin E were found in elecampane grass; flavonoids, vitamins (ascorbic acid, tocopherol), bitter substances, tannins (9.3%), lactones, fumaric, acetic, propionic acids were found in the leaves; in seeds - more than 20% of fatty oil.
Medical raw materials
For medical purposes, the roots of elecampane are used. They are harvested in the fall - in September or early spring - in March.
Raw materials are characterized by the following indicators: pieces of roots are mostly longitudinally split, of various shapes. Pieces of rhizomes 2–20 cm long, 1–3 cm thick, gray-brown outside, yellowish-white inside, with a peculiar aromatic odor, spicy, bitter, burning taste. Humidity of raw materials should not exceed 13%.
It is allowed to use other types of elecampane:
- The elecampane is huge, or large (Inula grandis) in the modern classification stands out as the Elecampane eastern (Inula orientalis);
- Elecampane magnificent (Inula magnifica);
- British elecampane (Inula britannica).
Medicinal properties of elecampane
Preparations from rhizomes of Elecampane high have an expectorant and anti-inflammatory effect, improve appetite, reduce intestinal motility, and reduce the secretion of gastric juice. It is believed that the main biologically active substance of elecampane is alantolactone and concomitant terpenoids. Alternative medicine, in addition, notes a diuretic and anthelmintic effect.
Preparations from fresh roots and rhizomes of elecampane are used in homeopathy. In domestic and foreign folk medicine, tinctures and extracts of rhizomes were used orally for malaria, edema, urolithiasis, migraine; decoctions as an expectorant for whooping cough, bronchial asthma, epilepsy, as a hemostatic, diuretic, anti-inflammatory agent for skin diseases, tachycardia. Tincture of fresh elecampane root on wine (port and cahors) was used for hypoacid gastritis.
In modern medicine, elecampane is used as an expectorant for chronic diseases of the respiratory tract: bronchitis, tracheitis, pulmonary tuberculosis and bronchitis with a large secretion of mucus. Some authors indicate that elecampane is a good remedy for gastroenteritis, and for diarrhea of non-infectious origin.
Attention! We remind you that self-medication can be dangerous to your health. Before using medicinal plants, be sure to consult a doctor.
Elecampane juice mixed with honey 1: 1 can be used for coughing and bronchial asthma.
A decoction of the rhizome and roots of elecampane. A tablespoon of crushed roots and rhizomes of elecampane is poured with a glass of water, brought to a boil, boiled for 10-15 minutes, cooled and drunk warmly in a tablespoon after 2 hours as an expectorant when coughing.